Have you had a serious discussion with your dentist about oral cancer? Oral cancer may not be one of the better known cancers, but it can be fatal if not found and treated early. Your dentist can perform a quick, painless screening using a special solution and light that will illuminate suspect cells that may not otherwise be visible to the naked eye. Read on to learn what you need to know about oral cancer, and then ask your dentist about scheduling a screening.
Risk for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer tends to affect men over the age of 50 the most often, but no one is immune. Tobacco and alcohol users have the greatest risk, but as many as a quarter of all diagnosed cases occur in people who have never smoked, chewed tobacco, or drank heavily. A family history of cancer can also increase your risk. In addition, excessive sun exposure may make you more likely to develop oral cancer.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can often manifest without causing any symptoms at all, which is why regular screenings are so important. If you do have symptoms, they may include sores, red or white patches, or growths in the mouth. Other common signs include pain or soreness in the mouth, throat, or neck that cannot otherwise be explained, unexplained oral bleeding, and changes in your bite.
Treatment for Oral Cancer
The survival rate for oral cancer is relatively good when caught and treated early. Treatment may include surgical removal of any tumors or abnormal cells, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of these. You can reduce your risk by abstaining from alcohol and tobacco use, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle.
If you’d like to discuss oral cancer with a dentist in Cleveland, contact the team at Hudec Dental. You can reach us by calling (216) 661-8888 to set up your appointment today. We also offer specialty services like endodontics and oral surgery.